Feeling like a Pretzel!

My Florida coach Luis Reteguiz Denizard ( Lou to his friends!) has had me working on a canter exercise and let me be candid, it has me feeling like a pretzel. So let me explain it to you.

  1. TRUE CANTER AND COUNTER CANTER.  For those of you who are not riders “true” canter is when the leading leg is the inside leg of what ever circle you are on. So if you are going to the left then the left leg, the inside leg, is the leading leg. You are riding on the “left” lead.  “Counter” canter is when you are going to the left and you ask the horse to canter with the outside, the right leg leading. This requires balance on the part of the horse and the  rider must have the ability to keep the horse in that balance.

RENVERS  This is when the horse is bending , like a banana, toward the outside.

 

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ARE YOU STILL WITH ME?  Ok. So the exercise is to go on a circle to the left, in renvers. So my horse is bending like a banana to the  outside of the circle. So he’s bending to the right, on the right lead and going to the left on a 20 meter circle.

Here is a video clip of the exercise. Lou did the video on my phone and it is not easy to video and teach at the same time. Watch to the end and you will find out what he’s having for morning snack!

 

It does not look as difficult as it seems when I am trying to ride it. But that may be a good thing. We dressage riders are always trying to make it look like we’re just out for a nice ride in the park.  For me the challenge in this exercise it to achieve the bend and not  be pretzelling myself to achieve it. I must just sit , on my tailbone, and ride.  The purpose of this exercise is to enable me to ask for the bend in any movement.

So I’m pretzelling on!  Fellow riders if you try this please leave a comment and let me know how it goes for you!

25 Comments Add yours

  1. Tonia says:

    Lovely!! Neat exercise. You’re a very quiet rider.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nicely done! And calming instructions!

    Nope, we won’t be trying this tomorrow!! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Haha! Well one step at a time.

      Like

  3. (HorseLover4Ever) Elizabeth says:

    You are certainly right–you make it look easy!!! But I know it is a lot harder than it looks. (:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I’m afraid it is harder than it looks. But dressage is like that. I wonder if it is the same for show jumpers? Or eventers going cross country?

      Like

  4. Gymah says:

    Interesting exercise! I’ll have to give it a try next time I’m at the barn. I also have to say that I am very jealous of the beautiful arena you get to ride in, it looks lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      It is nice. The footing is good and it is open but covered so it is shaded from the Florida sun.

      Like

      1. dray0308 says:

        You are welcome!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. It is so hard and you make it look effortless mate! I am trying to do travers and renvers at the trot and struggling, this is so inspiring and helps me stick to my goals. thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you and Ride On Mel!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. shiarrael says:

    Wow, you guys are amazing! ❤ ⭐
    It looks like the two of you are doing a waltz – and I love how Biasini moves – so much personality! (Btw, Lou has a very pleasant voice).

    As for the pretzeling (awesome word) – the last time I tried counter canter with Trú we basically had the whole barn in stitches. "I'm a bloody Viking! I am made to charge mine enemies and trample them with fury! And you want me to do what??! OK fine, since you ask so nicely. One, two, thr.. oh bugger this. If you’re going to celebrate, do it without messing up my rhythm!”
    Not even going into the renvers…. (less waltz, more cha-cha…)

    Little Jörð is more tolerant of my foibles (well, most of the time), so she offers the counter canter with the air of a queen feeling generous (“Well dear, if it’s so important to you…”).
    Overall, she’s a bit more open to the dressage-inspired exercises we do during winter, though nothing and noone beats my younger daughter and her young gelding (Tango Argentino on pale sand. Who knew Icelandics could even do that?)

    Meanwhile, I shall nurse my envy 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      You have a wonderful sense of humor! I’m delighted to know that Biasini and I look like we are waltzing! Let me tell you it does not feel like that! I love your descriptions of your horses and of your daughter with her horse. Thanks for this very entertaining comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. shiarrael says:

        It never does feel like it when you’re the one riding, does it? 😛

        I remember a nice German lady once telling me “Aw I wish I could sit in the saddle like you! Like you’ve been doing it all your life! So effortless!”
        This after a trail ride where I’d had my hands full with a fresh young mare bouncing happily across the hills and spooking at her own shadow for the heck of it (“ARGH! It’s the pine cone of DEATH! Oh wait never mind. ARGH!! A log of unusual size! FLY you fools!”)
        I was sweaty, dirty, and feeling like a right amateur. My face must have been priceless…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. anne leueen says:

        haha! I love this story.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Deb Whittam says:

    Don’t know how you do it

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Well i find it difficult and I know Biasini can do it if i ride him correctly. But thank you for the sympathetic comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Jeff Rab says:

    Can you hear Lou while you are riding?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes he has a microphone system and i have an ear piece in my ear. It’s great because he doesn’t have to shout and i can always hear him clearly. Thanks for taking a look at the video!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jeff Rab says:

        Ah! Makes perfect sense! Love the video!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. sandyjwhite says:

    Hmm…I think I prefer those big soft pretzels at the ballpark
    with a side of cheese nacho sauce, Anne!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Good choice Sandy!

      Liked by 1 person

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